Frayer for Youth Ministry

My oldest son just completed the 4th grade.  In his science class, they were required to complete “frayers” in their science journal.  It had been a while since I was in 4th grade, so I admit I didn’t know exactly what a frayer was when it was first assigned.  Basically, you divide your paper into four quadrants and label them – Definition, Properties, Examples, Non-examples.  So, in the case of “rocks,” for example, you have the definition in one quadrant, you can list its properties like “non-living” and “natural” in the second quadrant.  Examples could be sandstone or marble, non-examples could be minerals like quartz or diamond.  You get the idea.

As I’ve entered this phase of discernment – recently laid off from a youth ministry position, now trying to discern where God is leading me next – the idea of a frayer for my own personal role in youth ministry makes sense. 

So, if I labeled my own frayer “My Personal Ministry Passions,” here’s what you might see in the quadrants:

Definition – the areas of ministry where my personal passion and heart’s desire/sense of God’s call on my life most closely align with the work at hand

Properties –
  • these areas of ministry bring me joy
  • I’m excited about them
  • I get pumped when I see it happening
  • brings sense of fulfillment
  • I sense God getting glory through faithfully doing work I was called to do
  • Best uses my strengths/gifts/skills

Examples (things that bring me the most joy) 
  • loving on students and getting them to understand God’s grace and plan for them
  • teaching students to be leaders in ministry
  • mentoring students to find their own spiritual gifts and to discern God’s call on their lives
  • teaching students to be compassionate
  • inspiring others to do something about injustice
  • having a heart for youthworkers who are in desperate need for self-care, mentors and pastoral care to keep from burning out in an often misunderstood profession
  • helping others through mission work (Mission trip, 30 Hour Famine)
  • teaching junior high Bible study
  • inspiring youth to read their own Bible
  • creating spiritual retreats and other moments to bring students closer to Christ
  • trying new adventures
Non-examples (things that do NOT bring me the most joy)
  • Sitting in staff meetings
  • Church politics
  • Paperwork
  • Missing out on personal Sabbath, Bible study, worship, pastoral care
  • Sitting at my computer/desk
  • Counting heads instead of monitoring spiritual growth
  • Leading a group in song (those who’ve heard me sing will attest)
  • Too much time away from family
  • Most technical support things like running the sound board


This frayer concept might be helpful in bringing clarity to other decision making processes – I could see this helping youth to figure out what God might be calling them to do with their lives.  After all, adolescence is a time of figuring out who we are and how we fit in God’s Kingdom – what about a frayer to define who you are/who you desire to be?  


Each of us have been given unique gifts from God to be used in this lifetime – why settle for something that’s just okay when something truly awesome could be an option?


Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts to share/other ideas where this could be used.


Love in Christ,


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